Madrid is surrounded by four well-known UNESCO sites: Segovia, Ávila, Toledo, and Aranjuez. We decided to spend two days exploring them. While each was interesting in its own way, the castle walls of Ávila stood out. These incredibly preserved city walls are a spectacular sight! It is a monument in and of itself. Take the time to walk the walls, or around the outside of the walls, to immerse yourself fully in this unique experience.
There isn’t much to see or do in Ávila other than the walls, but we discovered the homiest of hostels: Mistic Hostel. Despite not speaking any english, Silvia greeted us with a huge smile, and we were registered in with ease.
Although Mistic Hostel is deemed a hostel, it’s really more like a B&B. They have one or two four-bed rooms, but the rest are doubles, privates, or family rooms. The house is perfectly situated inside the city walls to provide easy access both into and out of the Old Town. There is a spacious living room, and an incredible kitchen for our use – far better than any kitchen I have ever encountered in a hostel.
Our room was quite cozy, and our bed extra comfortable. Although we were in a dorm, we had it to ourselves as there were few guests visiting Ávila in the middle of October.
If you’re traveling as a family or with children, Silvia has two adorable family rooms for use. I mean, what child wouldn’t want a life-sized teddy bear on their bed?!
After a lazy afternoon wandering Ávila, we decided to make use of the beautiful kitchen and cook ourselves a healthy, hearty meal. We went to two supermarkets that turned out to be nonexistent, before finding a fantastic one about ten minutes from the hostel. What was incredible about Ávila’s supermarket was that it was the grocery store used by residents, and the prices reflected that! We ended up buying breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks for the equivalent of about 9 euro. 5FT Tip: Always grocery shop and cook for yourself when you can. It’s a great way to save money!
For dinner that night, we cooked ourselves pasta with seasoned chicken, mushrooms, tomatoes, and zucchini, and it felt so good to eat clean again.
We slept like babies, found a fresh baguette at our disposal for breakfast, said our goodbyes to the lovely Silvia, and we were off to Toledo! I have every intention of returning to Ávila to decompress and relax for a few days in the future.
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**Special thanks to Mistic Hostel for kindly offering me a complimentary stay. As always, all opinions are my own.